Fort Wayne man accused of driving stolen vehicle in fatal crash faces September trial

A man accused of causing a January crash that killed another man appeared Monday in Allen Superior Court to have his trial date set.

Donald E. Stump, 24, of the 3000 block of Alexander Street, seated in a wheelchair Monday before Magistrate Samuel Keirns, is scheduled for a Sept. 18-21 trial.

Stump faces 10 felony charges: reckless homicide defendant recklessly kills another human being and causing death when operating motor vehicle while intoxicated, both Level 5 felonies; causing death when operating a motor vehicle with a schedule I or II controlled substance, a Level 4 felony; six counts of criminal recklessness committed with a deadly weapon and one count of auto theft, all Level 6 felonies. The lower the number of the felony the more serious the crime and the longer the potential sentence.

Stump is accused of stealing a Pontiac G6 with the keys left inside it from a New Haven business parking lot while he was intoxicated at around 7:15 p.m. Jan. 2; he allegedly was speeding on East Washington Boulevard without the vehicle’s lights on at around 7:44 p.m. when he struck the back of a pickup driven by Cornelius Key Jr., 69, of Fort Wayne, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Allen Superior Court.

Key’s vehicle had been stopped at a light and the impact sent the pickup into a utility pole, pinning Key inside; he was determined to be dead at the scene, Fort Wayne Police said at the time.

An off-duty police officer driving on East Washington heard the collision behind him and saw the stolen vehicle spin past his vehicle before it stopped in the intersection of East Washington and Harmar Street, according to court records.

Stump was taken to a local hospital in serious condition. A toxicology report stated that Stump had multiple drugs in his body, including amphetamine and methamphetamine.

Three witnesses told police they believed the stolen vehicle was going at around 100 mph. Crash data from the car showed it was going 112 mph 5 seconds before the crash and 106 mph on impact, according to court documents.

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